Sunday, January 05, 2014

Last to leave

My mom has been here for more than two glorious weeks, but sadly today she had to go home.

We had so much fun and quality time together. One of the biggest drawbacks of living abroad is being far away from your family. Of course, with today's technology we are all in constant contact with each other, but nothing is as good as a real visit, when you can really hug and kiss someone.

She now knows her way around Buxton, Manchester and everywhere in between by bus, so she is confident she can make it to the airport herself. We dropped her off at the bus stop here in Buxton and spent a few more minutes together.

Unfortunately, the bus came much too quickly and we had to say goodbye, but I have a feeling she will be back soon. This year.

We live so close to the Netherlands now, she'll be unstoppable. And we don't mind at all!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Moem at Corbar Cross

Today we did it. We finally convinced my mom to hike up to Corbar Cross with us!

We've been talking about going up there way before she even arrived here two weeks ago. But she simply would not be convinced to come up there with us until today. Not even on New Year's Day when all her kids went up there. Too cold and wet for her, even though she had enough gear to protect her from the elements, she even bought waterproof and warm hiking boots especially...

She's leaving Buxton tomorrow, so today was our last chance. She was saying things like "we'll do it next time I'm in Buxton", but I was adamant. I knew she would love it up there, and there's no time like the present. I'm still not sure how we changed her mind today, but she came! And as predicted she absolutely loved it!
I think she's become quite the country gal up there on Corbar Hill.

She and Yasu even ended up chasing a herd of sheep, until one of them angrily stamped back at them and they finally hurried back.  I was happy they were safe again until they tried to get the attention of a Longhorn Buffalo Bull, which was even scarier than stamping sheep. Luckily, the bull couldn't care less about them yelling at him and they gave up and climbed down the hill with me back down to Buxton.

I knew she would love it up there, and she sure is happy she climbed up Corbar Hill with us!

Friday, January 03, 2014

Departing Dutchies

We all know it. All good things must come to an end. And so must this visit of the Dutchies to Buxton.
Today, after work in the morning I hurried back to Buxton to the university where they were saying goodbye to Yasu. We went for one last quick pint at the pub before we all took the bus to Manchester Airport.
My mom and I said goodbye to my ex-Dutch brother Djamo (he changed his nationality to Belgian a while ago), my still-Dutch brother Gyano and his girlfriend Bente. We had so much fun together and I can't wait for us all to hang out somewhere again, hopefully soon!

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Birthday in Manchester

This guy used to be my tiny little brother, but he's a full grown man now who turned 27 today! I can't believe it. To celebrate the visiting Dutchies and I took a train to Manchester today.
As soon as we arrived in Manchester, we made it our business to terrorize the streets with our signature blend of crazy energy and happy chaos.
No birthday is complete without a cake. This was Djamo's birthday cake, a secretly bought chocolate cupcake, which I am happy to report brought a big smile to his face. Apparently, it also tasted good.
When we got to the Piccadilly Gardens, we discovered the huge Ferris wheel and some beautifully and colorfully lit-up water fountains.
No matter what one's age is, water makes you happy and behave like a child. And no matter how cold it is, we're going to want to get as close to the water as possible, and play with it, and get wet. Mission accomplished.
And no matter how scared of heights I am, I am always going to want to try the Ferris Wheel. So we went on it. And I was terrified, so was Bente, and my brothers teased us, and we screamed. It was a blast.
Before we headed back to Buxton, we drank way too many 2-for-the-price-of-1 cocktails. I do believe Djamo enjoyed his birthday in Manchester. We all did. A lot.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

New Year's Do

My brothers have known about me cutting Yasu's hair with a machine called Flowbee and a vacuum for several years, and they decided they wanted me to Flowbee them during their visit to Buxton. A new year, a new hairdo, why not?

Our new vacuum is not too powerful, so it took me forever to do three heads (Yasu went first to show my brothers it is not scary at all), but they're all sporting Flowbee cuts now!

New Year's Hike

New Year's Day. A day to start afresh, by howling away last year's troubles and worries with the wind from the highest point in Buxton:
The weather today was pretty horrid, but this was my only chance to bring my brothers up to Corbar Cross with me, so we went anyway. It was raining pretty badly when we left, but luckily the weather got better and better the nearer we came to Corbar Cross.
By the time we were on top, right under the cross, the rain was gone, but it was windy as heck. Quite refreshing actually.
We had way too much fun 'hanging' in the wind:
Climbing on top of the Corbar Cross pillar made Djamo feel like the king of Buxton:
I'm glad we didn't let the weather scare us and that I came here with my little brothers. We made a bunch of good memories here.
I really like this photo of Djamo, he reminds me so much of the little boy he used to be, he's a full-grown adult turning 27 tomorrow, but that cute kid is still in there:
We made it back down the hill, and it was slippery! All the rain turned the sand into mud, and we happened to choose the steep way down... Yes, I basically slid my way down, screaming all the way, providing entertainment for my fellow hikers. But hey, I only fell on my bum once, I didn't get that dirty, and made it all the way home without a broken bone. Success.

Happy 2014!

Last day of the year, and for the first time in 10 years we were all together!

Well, not in the morning though. While I was at work, my mom and Gyano were making oliebollen. These are a traditional Dutch New Year's Eve treat and my brothers brought all the ingredients from the Netherlands so that my mom could cook them and Dutchify our English New Year's celebration. Oliebollen translates to "oil balls" and are fried balls of dough covered in powdered sugar. Yes, that's right, they're delicious and the best companion to champagne.
Yasu took Djamo to a local secondhand bookstore, and he was lost in his own personal heaven exploring 5 floors of books, picking out his many favorites. 
But we certainly spend the evening together, partying with friends, bubbles and heaps of oliebollen! Happy New Year!